I relate my ability to foresee what I’ll be doing after graduation to a news caster’s ability to predict the weather. If there is a life lesson I’ve learned during my academic career, it’s (1) I know my limits, and (2) I can’t predict where I’ll be from one year to another. In an engineering law course I was taking for my undergraduate, the professor asked the students in the class who planned to pursue a masters in engineering to raise their hand… I wasn’t one of those students. It wasn’t until midway through my final senior semester that I contemplate the idea. Then after I decided to apply, I planned to acquire my masters in structural engineering. Unfortunately, after being turned down for assistantship or scholarship aid (result applying too late), I was planning to turn down my graduate opportunity. The day after being turned out, I was at the gym explaining my story to a stranger. After hearing my story, the stranger introduced himself as the director of the Center for Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure at Virginia Tech’s Transportation Institute. He offered me a full-assistantship to pursue transportation engineering instead of structures. He became and is now currently my graduate advisor.
A personal trait I discovered in myself was my passion for physics related research. If I were applying for job now, and the type of work were to be left completely up to me, I’d seek a position in scientific research related to the material and structural properties of pavement design, with either a private or public agency. However, this is only a temporary plan. A decade after employment, I plan to acquire an MBA, and pursue a long held desire to start a consulting company in the field of pave surveillance. However, that is the most I have planned.